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Mixed reviews over government plans

The mortgage industry has had mixed views to the government’s rescue plans for the housing market, revealed today.

Steven Marks, lending executive at Newcastle has welcomed the government’s plans for the housing market, but says they do not go far enough.

He says: “Measures such as the 12 month Stamp Duty payment holiday on properties worth up to £175,000 and the interest free loans on the purchase of shares in new-build properties will give some people who are currently unable to get onto the property ladder the chance to do so.

“Existing home owners facing financial difficulties will also benefit from earlier payment of mortgage interest support, and the ability of councils and housing associations to buy homes from owners and rent them back.

Marks says the measures are clearly aimed at consumers, and ignore some of the difficulties being faced by lenders in the money markets.

He adds: “This is an important area for freeing up funding and making more mortgages readily available, and lenders are very much looking forward to hearing the outcome of the current Crosby review, which is examining funding markets for lenders and which it is hoped will lead to greater funding availability, more readily available mortgages, and therefore an improved housing market.”

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of The National Association of Estate Agents, the residential sales arm of the National Federation of Property Professionals is pleased the government has come to a decision.

He says:”Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction however, I am still concerned as I do not believe the decisions made will help the entire market.

“The Stamp Duty threshold has risen from £125,000 to £175,000 and this is not going to have the impact needed to revive the housing market as London and much of the South East will have no effect due to the high average price of first time buyer properties.

“As an association we still continue to urge the government to offer a Stamp Duty holiday for any real positive contribution to be made to the market.”


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